On This Day in 2003: Ronaldo hat-trick ends United’s Champions League hopes

Ronaldo scored a memorable hat-trick for Real Madrid against Manchester United on this day in 200
Ronaldo scored a memorable hat-trick for Real Madrid against Manchester United on this day in 200 (PA Archive)
6:00am, Fri 23 Apr 2021
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On this day in 2003, Brazilian striker Ronaldo scored a hat-trick as Real Madrid beat Manchester United to progress to the Champions League semi-finals.

Arriving at Old Trafford with a 3-1 advantage from the first leg, Ronaldo gave the Spanish side further control in the 12th minute when he fired home past goalkeeper Fabien Barthez.

Ruud Van Nistelrooy brought United back into it but the Brazilian got his second of the night, finishing off a fine team move with a tap-in.

Ivan Helguera’s own goal again gave Sir Alex Ferguson’s side hope but seven minutes later Ronaldo completed his treble with a fierce drive from distance to make it 3-2 on the night and 6-3 on aggregate.

With his work done for the evening, he was taken off and got a standing ovation from the Old Trafford crowd.

David Beckham, who joined Real later that year, then came off the bench to score twice and give United hope and a win on the night but the Spanish side held on for a 6-5 aggregate success.

The striker stayed at the Bernabeu for another four years before leaving to join AC Milan in 2007.

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